Central Refrigerated Truck Stop II

Discussion in 'Discuss Your Favorite Trucking Company Here' started by celticwolf, Jan 18, 2012.

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  1. celticwolf

    celticwolf Road Train Member

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    Kittrell, NC
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    this is not true... depends on the truck not it's status
     
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  3. About Time

    About Time Light Load Member

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    Oct 16, 2007
    Sacramento,CA
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    I went to sac tda seven months ago. I'm not sure what changes they have made since then. Here's my take on their program.

    Naturally it's fast paced. If you can do the studying for the permit test before hand, do it. It'll make it easier. You'll watch alot of videos. You'll take practice tests over and over before going to the DMV. They discuss trip planning basics, theyll give you a formula for figuring if you have hours to run. Everyday you'll complete your paper log and have it checked. They'll go over shifting, braking, weights, sliding tandems, trailer tracking, you'll use the atlas to trip plan. You'll go over the smith system of driving. Probably more but thats the idea. Don't be afraid to ask questions. You'll get an information sheet for the pre/post trip inspections. Ask how to use it when your in class, you'll get little instruction when you go to the yard. Overall class instruction was pretty good.

    Now for the yard. Keep in mind I dont know what changes they have made. I had to depend on the class before me to show me how to do the pre/post trip inspections. When your not backing in the yard or doing road driving you'll be practicing pre/post inspections and the air brake tests. They'll test you on this before going to Fontana. If you don't pass they'll keep you until you do. They made this change when I was there. Four people were sent back from Fontana my second week in the yard. My instruction for doing the backing consisted of showing me where the gears were and told not to pop the clutch. I had to insist I needed more instruction than that and was put with a student from the previous class. Road driving was nerve racking. You have to try and stay calm. Memorize the shift pattern and shift points. Again ask what they are. Also when doing turns ask what your reference points are for the turns. All I got was "turn, turn, turn!"

    So, the yard was your basic ##### method of teaching. Memorize your pre/post trip and air brake. At some point I just decided I just needed to get through it. It wasn't all bad, just not how I expected. It did work but you really have to take the initiative to ask for help.

    When you get to Fontana they will shorten your pre/ post trip. Sac teaches it all, Fontana didn't want that much. You'll have a better truck to drive and a better lot to drive in. If I had to do it over I'd still go to sac tda for one reason...... I got to go home everyday and study and or relax and sleep in my own bed.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with which ever way you decide.
     
  4. sesstexas

    sesstexas Light Load Member

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    Jan 21, 2012
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    I busted my ### to get my CDL myself and not have to go through their class. And now I have to go through it anyway, AND PAY FOR IT. They need to have a "Fundamentals and Safety of OTR Driving" class for people who already have their CDL but no experience. I guess I'll just hunker down and get through it as fast as I can. The real stuff I need to learn will be in the truck with my trainer; not how to pass my CDL writtens and driving test.. again.
     
  5. BiggDaddy

    BiggDaddy Light Load Member

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    Instead of paying for CDL training again, why not look for a company that won't put you another $4000 in the hole (or commit to them for a year) just to drive for them? I'm sure you have your reasons for choosing Central, and I am not saying it's a bad decision, but If I just got my CDL and a Company told me I had to go through their schooling AND PAY FOR IT again, I would probably look at other options.
     
  6. Lady K

    Lady K Road Train Member

    Ummm... we lease and don't have the window... it made the weekly payment about $60 less... :biggrin_25519:
     
  7. sesstexas

    sesstexas Light Load Member

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    Jan 21, 2012
    Longview, TX
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    Unfortunately with me just turning 21 and having no "verifiable experience" my options for employment are extremely limited unless I enroll in a 160 hr truck driving school. Those schools cost upwards of $6k around where I live and are not eligible for federal aid and I for sure don't have that kind of money. Among other reasons, I chose central because of their short training time and they were the least of a total of about ten evils. There aren't that many companies that will hire someone my age, in my situation, and especially a combination of them both. The ones that will, all require me to go through their CDL school and an extremely long class-room and OTR training. Central was the only exception to this as the classroom was two weeks and OTR training was four weeks. So basically, I'm going to be in the same position anywhere I go, only at Central, the OTR training would be shorter.
     
  8. BiggDaddy

    BiggDaddy Light Load Member

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    I understand. That kinda sucks, but you gotta do what you gotta do, huh?
     
  9. chompi

    chompi Road Train Member

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    Deland, FL
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    sesstexas, I wouldn't fret about Central. You have to get your foot in the door and you are only 21. This is a very good opportunity for you. Yes it will cost a little bit but at least it isn't $6000.00 at a trucking school! Plus you are pretty much hired on provided you pass the tests and don't wreck the truck!

    Central is a very good company and is going to be what you make of it. Make sure when going to orientation that you dress nicely. You will have a one on one interview and appearance is very important to Central. They know that if you look nice during orientation that this is how you will represent them out on the road with their customers. You don't need a suit and tie, but nice jeans, maybe a collared shirt, leave the hat at the hotel etc... Could very well mean the difference as to what truck you will be issued.
     
    Green_20 Thanks this.
  10. ChromeDome

    ChromeDome Road Train Member

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    Lakeland, FL
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    I drove on and off for 15 years before going to Central. But had not been OTR since 1992. So I had to take a refresher. It was 9 days, and I had to pay 2000. At that point they were giving the price break to anyone that had a CDL already. But if you did not have experience, you had to stay at the school for the full 2 weeks. And many that had some experience could not driver worth a darn, and they had to stay 2 weeks also.

    Then my time with a trainer was supposed to be 2 weeks. But they tried to change that to 4 weeks. After 9-10 days on the road my trainer asked the training dept. what the heck he was supposed to be teaching me lol.
    Since all I needed to learn was how to use the qualcom.

    On like day 13 or so we were in VA. And they had him drop me off at a Volvo shop and get a truck that was there.
    Took a load to Atlanta, and upgraded.
    This was all a long time ago now though. Who knows how they have changed things.
    But a refresher course is supposed to be for an experienced driver. Not just anyone that already has a CDL.
    The refresher is just if you have no OTR experience in the past 3 years.
     
  11. chompi

    chompi Road Train Member

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    Deland, FL
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    Agree with Chrome! That refresher is usually for drivers who have had a year or two or so off from over the road.

    The mega-carriers usually have to play by the rules because they are pretty much handed down from their insurance companies, its not necessarily the trucking companies policy. Insurance usually dictates how long your training will have to be and or refresher course etc... When we worked for Central I had a few months leave of absence and when we came back we had to go through orientation all over again. You know the company hates to have to do that too but that's what their insurance wants.
     
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